Fairfax County EDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins Visits Israel to Strengthen Partnerships and Showcase U.S. Business Expansion Opportunities
Fairfax County, Virginia, U.S.A (December 27, 2022) – For the first time since taking the helm in 2019, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) President and CEO Victor Hoskins visited Israel this past November. For this fact-finding mission and an opportunity to showcase U.S. business expansion opportunities for Israeli companies, Mr. Hoskins was joined by FCEDA International Business Investment Manager Asher Kotz and Value Base CEO Yair Ephrati, and his team, who represent FCEDA’s business operations in Israel. FCEDA has maintained an office in Israel since 2004, serving as a go-to resource for Israeli companies interested in expanding into the U.S.
“It was an honor to meet our Israeli partners in person to learn more about how Israeli companies are advancing their mission at home and abroad,” said Hoskins. “We are here to be a conduit, to help these companies connect with the world-class innovation, cybersecurity and tech ecosystems that exist here in Northern Virginia. We are here to help them tap into the incredible U.S. market opportunity,” he continued. “We offer unparalleled access to the world’s largest customers and key decision-makers, and a highly educated regional workforce of six million people. These are just some of the main reasons why dozens of Israeli companies have already expanded their operations to Fairfax County.”
During a day trip to Be’er Shevah, Mr. Hoskins and the FCEDA team visited Ben Gurion University to discuss their partnership with Fairfax County-based George Mason University. The two universities have an existing professor exchange program and are working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify student and faculty research exchange. While in Be’er Shevah, the team also met with representatives at Economic Development Authority Ye’adim, and the Southern Israel Bridging Fund VC.
While in Tel Aviv, FCEDA team met with representatives of Start-up National Central, a non-profit organization that strengthens Israel’s innovation ecosystem and connects it to global challenges and stakeholders. He also met with Team 8, a venture capital firm with a focus on cyber. In addition, the team met with companies already in Fairfax County, executives from Cellebrite, Green Vision Systems, and Israel Aerospace Industry Innovation group, among others.
“With the economic strength of Northern Virginia, we see greater business opportunities for Israeli companies expanding to the U.S. market,” said Mr. Ephrati. “We assist in connecting Israeli firms to the Fairfax County business community, introducing them to local partners and identifying resources, incentives and grants to help offset costs of launching new U.S. operations.”
FCEDA also hosted an executive roundtable in Tel Aviv to engage partner agencies and to discuss collaboration opportunities with a group of Israeli companies that are planning U.S. expansion. A special effort was made to meet with leading influential Israeli-U.S. trade-related organizations, such as the BIRD Foundation, Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), and Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. (AmCham Israel.)
“We look forward to continuing to work with the FCEDA to cultivate partnerships between Israeli and Fairfax County-based companies and increase the number of partnerships funded through the BIRD Foundation,” said Limor Nakar-Vincent, Deputy Executive Director of Business Development & BIRD Energy.
Fairfax County’s proximity to Washington, D.C., and central location is within easy commuting distance to most major U.S. cities. The time zone is convenient for conducting global business operations. Fairfax County links to global markets through Washington Dulles International Airport, including direct flights service from Tel Aviv.
“We see Northern Virginia and Fairfax County as an ideal location to establish our U.S. HQ and operational center,” said Rami Shmueli, CEO of RT Aerostat. “With the direct flight service from Tel Aviv to Washington Dulles International airport in Northern Virginia, a very pro-business economy in Virginia, and superb infrastructure. Hence, we look forward to working with Fairfax County EDA team to leverage growing U.S. market opportunities with Federal, state and local government agencies as well for commercial customers.”
Fairfax County’s business community features nine Fortune 500 headquarters, leading government contractors, as well as the global headquarters for companies such as Hilton, Mars, and Capital One. In Fiscal Year 2021, companies with presence in Fairfax County were awarded $31 billion in U.S. Federal government contracts. As a hub for more than 8,800 technology businesses, Fairfax County has a plethora of emerging business opportunities in segments such as AI, cybersecurity, defense, homeland security, cloud, smart city, and sustainability. Along with its strength in government and defense technology, Fairfax County’s diverse ecosystem includes business opportunities in communications, financial, healthcare, and more.
“FCEDA is a longtime member of AmCham Israel, and we see great potential in a strategic partnership to promote greater collaboration in healthcare innovation by attracting Israeli health-tech startups to the U.S. and providing them with a launchpad for their solutions. This includes regulatory and market entry support amongst others,” said Oded Rose, CEO of AmCham Israel. “Fairfax County is a great partner for this type of collaboration as they offer connections to innovative programs, and federal and state supports, as well as connections to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other relevant agencies.”
Some of the Israeli-owned companies presently in Fairfax County include Amdocs, Avanan- Check Point, Elbit Systems of America, Israel Aerospace Industry NA, Melanox-Nvidia, and Verint. And eight Israeli companies have expanded to Fairfax County since 2019: Armis Security, Cellebrite, Cellwise, Commugen, D-Fend Solutions, GetSat, Septier Communications, and SimilarWeb.
“The U.S.-Israel alliance continues to strengthen bringing opportunities for funding and market acceleration for Israeli companies looking to enter the U.S. market,” said Mr. Kotz. “We look forward to working with more companies on their expansion plans.”
For more information on the assistance and opportunities Fairfax County has to offer to Israeli companies considering expansion to the U.S., visit www.fairfaxcountyeda.org and contact Mr. Asher Kotz at Akotz (at) fceda.org.
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